WHAT BECAME OF "THE RIGHT WAY"?



  • Remember a few years ago, there was reputedly a movement of “right way” coaches that included active and former coaches like Bill Self, Coach K, Bob Knight, Rick Pitino, Billy Donovan, Rick Barnes, Tom Crean, Tom Izzo, Ben Howland, Norm Roberts, and Larry Brown and a few others I cannot recall right now. I never heard Bo Ryan or Tom Izzo use the term “the right way,” but I always felt they were walking the talk of the movement–despite the hard edged, take no prisoners ball they played.

    Some, like the coaching emeritus Bob Knight, reputedly openly questioned the ethics of John Calipari at Kentucky.

    The apparently informal movement seemed to be a group of coaches that appeared to be trying to do two things.

    They were trying to clean up the rising violence in the game, even though some among them were making use of violent and cheap shotting play themselves.

    The other thing they seemed to be trying to do was to reduce some of the influence on the recruiting process of AAU coaches, agents and agent runners.

    I don’t want to mislead board rats. It was not a formal, or even a well-defined informal movement with a web site and every coach wearing a “right way” pin. But it was a group of coaches that when interviewed would use the phrase “the right way” to describe the way the tried to do things.

    “We try to win the right way.”

    “We try to play the right way.”

    “We aren’t perfect, but we are trying to recruit the right way.”

    “We are trying to graduate our players.”

    And so on.

    The implication of the “right way” phrase was that there was a “wrong way” being used out there.

    The “wrong way” was never delineated by them very clearly. It was almost as though they were trying NOT to define it.

    To a fan like me, it seemed a new and hopeful reform movement in the greatest game ever invented, at a time when the NCAA, the Chancellors, and the Athletic Directors seemed unwilling, or unable to act to reform the game.

    Now, it seems I never hear any of the coaches talking about “the right way” anymore.

    And it seems that a number of the “right way” coaches, like Norm Roberts and Ben Howland and Rick Barnes have been forced out of their coaching jobs, Bob Knight seems to have been marginalized as an announcer, and Coach K has conspicuously seemed to become the first among the “right way” group to break and become a hoarder of a postiively Caliparian number of OAD/TADs on his Duke roster–reputedly 9.

    The other right way" coaches seemed to be caught a little off guard, by Coach K’s leap into near chemical levels of OAD/TAD dependence. They have appeared to be scrambling somewhat awkwardly to catch-up,

    I miss hearing coaches talk about trying to do it “the right way.”

    I miss the idea that there might be a “right way.”

    I fear we may have entered a dark age.

    Perhaps there should be a new ESPN sports channel that shows the games in harsh, high contrast black and white.

    Everyone that goes to the games in arenas filled with eSmoke could wear fedoras, place bets on cell phones in brushed metal safety cases, and make references to having just come home from the latest pre-emptive resource war, and talk about just desperately wanting make one score so they can runaway with some femme fatale to some cabin out in a small town where no one can find them, except the very killers they are trying to elude.

    Call it Ballnoir.



  • @jaybate-1.0: I kid you not. I just posted the following question on another of your threads about 5 minutes ago, not having seen this one (presumably you were composing this one at the time):

    “I know it is against NCAA rules to give benefits as inducements to the HS athletes, but are there specific NCAA regulations against schools/recruiters/coaches giving money to AAU coaches, to foster their relationships (i.e., to keep the pipelines open)?”



  • @EdwordL

    And I just posted a response a few seconds ago that goes like this:

    Search me. What I try to do is assume that in this complicated and not very transparent (to fans anyway) D1 environment that what goes on is probably legal, because there is so much money at stake and so much money to hire good lawyers to find technically legal exploits of the rules. For example, I try to believe that everything going on with recruiting including the anomalies are legal, whether or not they are asymmetric in their effects. I try to leave the illegal stuff to the authorities because I am just a fan.


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